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Authors: Collette Scott

If We Dare to Dream

BOOK: If We Dare to Dream
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Praise for Collette Scott

 

“Collette’s emotionally charged fiction transports the reader so completely into her character’s lives it is easy to become engrossed.”

 

-  R
oxanne Smolen, author of
Mindbender

 

“Collette Scott has the ability to paint characters so real as to draw you into their lives. Not an easy book to put down once picked up.”

 

- Lord David Prosser, author of
The Queen’s Envoy.

 

If We Dare to Dream

 


If We Dare to Dream
is captivating! Collette Scott delivers an emotional roller coaster ride of love, anger, guilt and suspense…. Addictive to the very end!”

 

- KC Stone, author of
Replaced by a Stranger
.

 

“Wow! I have to say after reading
Forever Sunshine
I didn’t think I would read a book as well written as that again. Collette has done it again!… Collette writes so well that you can visualise what is happening in your head, as though seeing the action on TV or in a film, but better! I feel so privileged at being allowed to read this book before it has even officially been published.”

 

- Jeanzbookreadnreview.blogspot.com

 

Also by Collette Scott

 

Forever Sunshine

 

“…nothing in the twists and turns in Collette Scott’s story is really expected. That’s what makes it an exciting, unforgettable learning experience.”

 

Betty Dravis, author of
1106 Grand Boulevard
and Amazon Top Reviewer

 

“This author has found a way to take powerful subject matter and weave it into a love story in a way that I’ve only ever seen Nicholas Sparks be able to do well.”

 

Linda Hawley, author of
Dreams Unleashed

 

Hannah’s Blessing

 

“When Forever Sunshine grabbed my heart, I couldn’t wait to read something… anything else from Collette Scott. Her novels flow naturally, grabbing your attention from first page to lasts. She builds up her romances with growing suspense that will tease you with every turn of the page. Try and put it down once you start reading… I dare you… it’s almost impossible.”

 

KC Stone, author of
Replaced by a Stranger

 

If We Dare to Dream

by

Collette Scott

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

 

Copyright 2011 by Collette Scott

Cover design by Laura J Miller
www.anauthorsart.com

Soldier courtesy of: http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-boot-camp-image1578681

 

All rights reserved.

For information address Marimay Publishing, P.O. Box 11821, Tempe, AZ 85284

 

ISBN-13:  
978-1466440692

ISBN - 10:
1466440694

 

This one is for Grandma Bush. All my love.

And for all our brave servicemen and women, may you be safe and happy. Thank you for everything you do.

 

Prologue

 

April 2006

 

He was staring again.

Jamie felt the unmistakable pressure of someone watching her, and the weight of the stare was heavy and intent like someone preparing to devour a delicious dessert. It was disconcerting, for the presence just would not go away, and Jamie had no desire to be consumed. While in the past she may have found it flattering and even had expressed interest, those days were long gone now. Tonight was supposed to be just the girls. No men allowed.

Reaching for the beer bottle on the scratched and worn table, she raised it to her lips and peered over the neck to meet the stare head on. Just like before, as soon as she glanced at the shadowy corner table where the small group of people laughed with the loud influence of too many drinks, the shaded face glanced away guiltily. She set the bottle down slowly, her eyes remaining on him and a slight frown on her lips. Once again she tried to make a point of letting him know in no uncertain terms that she was aware of his gaze and was not receptive.

Bar scenes had never appealed to Jamie, especially late night ones. Meeting people while under the influence of alcohol was always a mistake in her opinion, leading to regrets the next morning. Besides, she was not interested in meeting anyone. How could she when she sported the shining diamond of a two-carat, solitaire engagement ring that Clay had given to her with a proposal for marriage just two weeks before? Nope, she was spoken for and happily at that.

“That guy staring again?”

Marissa followed Jamie’s gaze to the man partially blocked by the group he was with. Seated at a table beyond the tall palm trees decorated with white lights that kindled a gentle glow in the darkness, his face was cast in shadow. Though Jamie’s view was partially obstructed, she could see his tall companion, a young, dark-haired man who was eagerly chatting up two women. His body language spoke volumes as he leaned into them with one hand causally holding a bottle of beer and the other hovering just beyond the blonde’s back waiting for the opportunity to touch her. It was obvious that he was hoping to close a deal that night. Their laughter carried across the thinning crowds; again, the type of laughter stemming from too much alcohol, overly enthusiastic and bordering on obnoxious.

“Yep,” she said.

With a laugh, Marissa reached for Jamie’s drink and downed the remaining beer in two strong gulps. When she set the empty bottle back on the table, she was grinning at Jamie.

“Want me to go over there and chat him up for you? I can tell him you’re a lost cause.”

She reached for Jamie’s left hand and stared pointedly at her ring finger. Jamie pulled away and tucked her hand on her lap. Though she was not sure why, she suddenly felt slightly embarrassed. “No, it’s okay. It’s winding down, and it’s been a long night. I think I may head out soon.”

“What? Heading out? You can’t leave, Jamie,” said Rae. “This is our last time together before you leave us for good.”

“I’m moving one state away, Rae,” Jamie said wryly.

“But you’re getting married. We’ll never be able to hang out like this again.”

Jamie shrugged. Rae was the consummate party-girl; once she got started she had a hard time stopping. Though Jamie loved her dearly, when the clock struck one she was ready to go home.

The evening had been a long one already. They started with a celebratory sushi dinner in Scottsdale and then went dancing at a club in Tempe. Rae and Marissa had fully enjoyed themselves and had begged Jamie to stop off at their old hangout for one last drink before calling it a night. After their tour of the East Valley they were closer to home - close but not quite there. Jamie still had to drive her car back to Clay’s apartment while Rae and Marissa walked across the street to their complex. At this hour, she wished she still shared the three bedroom condo the girls had roomed in for the last four years.

“One more shot for old-times sakes,” Rae decided. She scooted back and stumbled slightly as she lurched off the scarred wooden stool. With a blasé giggle, she smiled at Marissa and Jamie and sashayed inside.

“Apparently the bathroom is actually the bar,” Marissa said drolly.

Jamie watched her go as well. “You do know I’m not having another shot.”

“Of course. You have to drive. That’s why I finished your beer. Here,” she pushed her cup of water across the table, “take my water.”

“Thanks. I’m going to miss having you look out for me, Issa.”

Marissa’s eyes suddenly welled with tears. With a well-manicured hand, she reached out and covered Jamie’s. Her long nails cut into Jamie’s palm. “Gosh Jamie, I wish you weren’t leaving.”

“I’ll be home to visit,” Jamie promised indulgently.

“Not often enough.” She sat back and sniffled. “We always knew this would happen. We’ve grown up, we have our careers, and two of us have guys that love us. Next come babies and weddings. I just never realized that you would leave the Valley.”

“It’s a good job offer.”

“Still… I thought we’d raise our kids together like family.”

“We still can. It’ll just be long distance unless something else comes up.”

Jamie was rapidly growing tired of the same conversation she had shared with both of her best friends. Ever since she had made the announcement that she and Clay were moving to Las Vegas, Rae and Marissa had been very vocal about their dismay. They believed that she was marrying too quickly. After all, she had only known Clay six months. They also believed it was foolish to leave her tightknit family and move six hours away to the City of Sin. Their economy was not as strong as Phoenix’s. And of course her family did not approve. None of Jamie’s four older brothers particularly cared for any man Jamie had brought home to them, so she had long ago given up ever finding someone that would be good enough for their baby sister. Jamie had good-naturedly taken it all in even though her mind was made up, and Clay had already made the arrangements.

The fact was that she loved Marissa and Rae like the sisters she did not have. After all, they had been inseparable since their freshman year in high school. The three girls had enjoyed many adventures over the years, and Jamie sincerely hoped that they would continue to do so. However, she was also enchanted with the young lawyer she had met when he stumbled into her office to set up a Roth IRA. When he called her the next day and asked to take her out to dinner, she had not refused. They had been inseparable since, until now.

This first Saturday evening apart had been like a blast from the past. She and her friends had hit up the town like the old days. Nevertheless, Jamie was ready to go home to the man that had captured her heart.

“I’m going to settle up before Rae gets back,” she announced, pushing away from her stool.

“All right… I’ll catch her when she comes out of the bathroom so she doesn’t order another round.”

Most likely due to the lateness of the hour and his eagerness to call it a night, their waiter had long ago disappeared without checking on their table. Taking it in stride, Jamie decided to pay at the bar. It was nearly deserted now that last call was a few minutes away, and only two couples and three men alone sat at various corners of the U-shaped counter. Too captivated by the large-screen televisions strategically placed around the outdoor patio, the men barely looked her way. She placed her elbows on the highly polished but scratched counter and leaned forward to catch the bartender’s attention.

They had just made eye contact when a rough shove from behind threw Jamie into the hard wooden slab. With a startled gasp, she spun around with a sharp rebuke on her tongue but was forced to catch the girl instead as she unceremoniously toppled to the ground, knocking one of the heavy stools over and almost falling atop it had Jamie not been there to ease her fall. Sighing in frustration, Jamie glared down at her attacker. She noticed immediately that it was the red tube-topped girl from the watcher’s table, and she was far more intoxicated than Jamie had assumed. Saved from falling face first, the girl landed askew on the floor with one flip flop under a bar stool and her skirt dangerously high. She gazed up at Jamie with large brown eyes.

BOOK: If We Dare to Dream
7.94Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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